Two African-American Academics Win Genius Awards

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago has announced this year’s class of 22 MacArthur Fellows. The fellowships, often referred to a “Genius Awards,” offer scholars, artists, writers, and performers $500,000 in unrestricted support for the following five years. Winners also receive health insurance.

This year, two of the 22 MacArthur Fellows are African Americans.

Tiya Miles, a professor of history and professor and chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, explores the complex interrelationships between African and Cherokee people living and working in colonial America. She is the author of Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (2005) and The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story (2010).

A graduate of Harvard University, Professor Miles earned a master’s degree at Emory University and a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

The following video offers a brief overview of her work.

Roland Fryer is the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Professor Fryer has conducted research on the academic achievement gap between black and white students. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Professor Fryer holds a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

Here is a video of Dr. Fryer discussing his work.


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